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Candlelight Tour Of Fort Point


One of the lesser known tourist attractions in San Francisco is Fort Point, a Civil War era fortress situated right under the Golden Gate Bridge. This fort was built in 1794 by the Spanish to initially defend San Francisco Bay against hostile warships. But later, its vantage point was helpful in guarding the Bay during the Gold Rush and all the way through World War II, after which the fort was decommissioned.


Recreation.gov offers an interesting after-dark tour of Fort Point that allows visitors to view the fort in candlelight! These docent led tours are offered only at 6.30pm and 7pm on Saturdays. Prior reservation is required to participate in this candlelight tour. For any given date, reservations open at 7am, 2 Saturdays prior. There are only 30 available slots per tour, and they get filled up fast. Here is the site to book your ticket, which costs $20 for adults and $12 for children (10-17). Kids under 10 not allowed on this tour. The tour lasts 90 minutes. Parking is free, and is available at the entrance of Fort Point.

Our well-informed guide/Park Ranger


At the start of the tour, each person is given a lantern to illuminate their way, while the docent guides visitors through the dark passages and stairways of the now-desolate Fort.


The decorative lantern given to each visitor.

Making my way around the building with lantern in hand

As he takes you from room to room, he narrates the history of the Fort, starting from the Natives and how the Spanish took over the land from them, through the Mexican-American War, then Civil War, Gold Rush of 1849 and all the way through World War II and ends the history lesson with the building of the Golden Gate Bridge above the Fort.

Golden Gate Bridge was built right above Fort Point

The tour takes you through 4 levels of the brick walled fortress, including the Officers quarters and the armory. The twinkling lights of the city from the windows of the fort are magnificent.

View of the Bridge from one of the windows.

The best is saved till the very end of the tour when the guide takes you to the roof of the fort to observe the Bridge from below, with the sounds of vehicles overhead and the breathtaking panoramic view of San Francisco Bay Area.


View of the city in the distance


I highly recommend this super cool tour! I have lived in the Bay Area for almost 3 decades and didnt know about this unique tour until recently. Walking around with a pretty lantern adds the additional "wow" effect to the entire experience.





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